God's word in today's world

Tear up those overdrafts

People are so used to having accounts – we actually love accounts. I don’t know if this is because it makes us feel important to open our wallets and pick and choose which card to use. Visa card, Master card, Clicks card, Woollies card or Edgars card. Name it, we have it.

And that’s why the major chain store showers us with special offers — we only have to open a new account and take their card. The other day I saw that they offer you R500 back with your first purchase over R2 000. But at the end of the month it’s sorry, not enough money to pay for everything.

Eventually we start borrowing money to pay other accounts. This becomes an ever deeper and darker cycle and before you know it, the shop starts calling you to collect its money. In due course, there’s no way out and you give up.

People understand debt, because it’s society’s currency. Unfortunately, we’re not always wise enough to realise that we have to be very careful with it. Many of us know the heavy burden of debt that has to be paid off monthly. However, debt is not a new concept. Even in Biblical times it formed part of the financial world.

That is why Paul used a story about debt to explain to people exactly what Jesus did: 14… he canceled the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross.

When I talk at primary schools, I use this specific story on purpose, because it can help children as young as Grade 1 to understand what happens to our sin.

I normally have a small black notebook with me and then I ask the children to list all the sins others do. As they name the sins, I write them down one by one. Then I explain that there’s no enormous eraser in heaven for using to erase all our sins.

Not one or a thousand or a million deeds can erase even one of our little sins. We are guilty, our notebook is full, but God pitied us and made a plan.

He allowed his Son to die on a cross for our sins. God put the bill for your sins at the cross and Jesus’ blood erased them all from the account, almost like using Jik on a dirty spot on a shirt. They are no more! They are gone! No account against my name any more.

It is a simple story that even a Gr 1 learner can understand. So why do we make it so difficult that we ourselves don’t want to believe it? Why do we live a life filled with guilt and why do we keep on dragging all those deeds from the past with us? Why do we keep on going back to the black debt book if Christ has actually already paid the account on the cross?

Maybe we should stay in the simplicity of the story, take a piece of paper and write down all our sins. Crumple it up, throw it away! It’s over! You never have to look at it again.

Now go and live like someone whose account has been settled.


Colossians 2:14


Do you really believe that Jesus has died for your debt as well?

What sins are still standing in your life?

What must you do with them?


Jesus, thank you for having been prepared to die so that the debt of all our sins could be wiped away. We struggle to really understand exactly what You have done for us. That is why we sometimes still struggle to drag our past along with us. Please remind of us of the price that has been paid. Your blood was enough to take away all our sin. Amen.

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